A report on the labour market for fourteen engineering occupations in Canada says that about 100,000 new engineers will be needed in the next ten years to replace those who are retiring and to fill new jobs as the economy expands. The country is facing a skills gap, the report says, as senior level engineers retire, leaving a workforce that is not necessarily qualified to replace them. New recruits will have to come from engineering’s “underrepresented groups,” women and aboriginal Canadians, as well as from traditional sources.
The greatest demand will be for civil, mechanical, electrical/electronic, and computer engineers. The greatest number of engineering jobs are in Ontario, but shifting economic activity from region to region will play a large part in the demand. With high demand for their work, and an economy expected to grow, the future of engineering in Canada is “bright,” according to the CEO of Engineers Canada, the group that published the ten-year forecast of employment by sector and by province.
Civil engineers, most of whom work in the architectural, engineering and related services industry, will be in greatest demand. Ontario will employ 12,000–13,000 civil engineers between now and 2025, with 700 new civil engineers needed each year until 2019 to meet expansion and replacement needs. From then until 2025, demand will drops off to just over 600 job openings per year.
Over 7,000 mechanical engineers are employed in Ontario in the architectural, engineering and related services industry, and another 14,000 in various types of manufacturing (transportation equipment, machinery, metal products, computer and electronics, electrical equipment), utilities, and trade contracting. The province will need close to 800 new mechanical engineers each year between 2015 and 2025.
Similar numbers of electrical engineers are employed in Ontario and just over 700 will be needed in each of the next ten years to replace retirees and accommodate expansion. In the next five years, the province will need to hire an average of 792 new electrical engineers.
Computer engineers make up the next largest group of engineers in Ontario, and represent the highest demand in coming years. There are about 12,000 computer engineers working in computer systems design, telecommunications, manufacturing, finance and a range of other industries. More than 400 new computer engineers will be needed each year from now until 2025.
Ontario will also need close to 500 engineering managers each year, mainly to replace large numbers of the 3,000 or so now working who are expected to retire between 2015 and 2025.
Approximately 400 chemical engineers will be needed each year over the forecast period. Aerospace engineers, mainly employed in Ontario and Quebec, will be hired at the rate of about 235 per year over the next five years. Petroleum engineers are mostly employed in Alberta, and about 60 will be needed each year.
Computer engineers, meanwhile, again mostly in Quebec and Ontario, will be needed at the rate of 800 per year. About three-quarters of these will come from Canadian universities, the rest from in-migration. Demand for software engineers will be about 1,250 per year, half of them in Ontario.